we’re all picky now, dew drops and spider, the psychology of sudden political shifts

Experiment makes men and women equally picky when selecting a mate

When it comes to dating, are women really choosier than men? The abundance of research on this subject leads us to believe that they are, but a study forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, reports evidence to the contrary.

In most speed dating events the women stay at their table while the men play musical chairs. In this experiment, which is probably not the last word on the subject of the dynamics of gender and dating, the men stayed seated as the women rotated.

It turns out that, regardless of gender, the participants who rotated experienced greater romantic desire for and chemistry with their partners, compared to participants who sat throughout the event. In addition, the rotators tended to have a greater interest in seeing their speed-dating partners again, compared to sitters.

That would dovetail with human behavior in general when it comes to making choices. If there are lots of apples to chose from you’re likely to stand there a few minutes feeling up a number of apples before picking a couple.  Looking around one also finds that most couples are generally equal in attractiveness, which means the more choices and time one has the more likely, whether male or female, to find and pick a potential date that matches one’s physical expectations.

dew drops and spider

Having grown up with the do as I say not as I do mentality and noticing how deeply it is ingrained in our culture its hardly surprising the NYT has two standards, The NYT calls Iranian interrogation tactics “torture”

Virtually every tactic which the article describes the Iranians as using has been used by the U.S. during the War on Terror, while several tactics authorized by Bush officials (waterboarding, placing detainees in coffin-like boxes, hypothermia) aren’t among those the article claims are used by the Iranians.  Nonetheless, “torture” appears to be a perfectly fine term for The New York Times to use to describe what the Iranians do, but one that is explicitly banned to describe what the U.S. did.

I wish Glenn would have used the term what Bush did in the name of the U.S. rather then “what the U.S. did.” Its not nitpicking to say that many of us across the political spectrum saw that a policy of torture was illegal,  endangered our troops and was counter productive.

old park poster.

Stanford study says mental nudge can make voters flip-flop

A group of Stanford psychologists say most people can be swayed toward either the right or left depending on whether they’re prompted to think about the payoff of their own hard work or the good fortune that has smiled upon them.

When they’re asked to focus on the qualities of self-reliance and hard work, they’re more likely to express conservative viewpoints. And when they zero in on things like luck and opportunity, they come out more liberal.

The researcher seem to think that one’s political attitudes doesn’t just in slow moving generational trends, but can switch back and forth day to day depending on the messages they get. Like those in the study I tend to think luck and opportunity play a huge part in the average persons life, but I would also add connections. Wealthy families tend toward certain schools, clubs and so forth. Many have owned the same companies for years and travel in the same social circles. They network and hire each other. A bright kid that went to a public university has a good chance of becoming an engineer or middle manager for these elites, but a much lower chance of becoming an executive VP or CEO then those from that upper economic and social strata. The general trend is that people tend to get stuck in their economic and social class. Though here is where studies similar to the excerpted one on the psychology of politics are off. As large a role as luck and circumstances beyond our control play in people’s lives, I a liberal, think you increase you chances at that legendary upward mobility ( I also prefer the cultural concept of people finding work/career that is personally rewarding rather then being upwardly mobile) if you get as much education as possible ( that might be college, apprenticeship or specialized training) and have a strong work ethic. Realizing how much uncontrollable randomness there is in our lives, while continuing to strive for those dreams, might also make our expectations a little more reasonable. Not just of  ourselves, but of others. We’ll have to wait for that particular study.